Phoenix Rise Are The 2016 NPGL Champions

Marcus Filly holding the Pinnacle Trophy after winning the 2016 NPGL Final
September 7, 2016: Phoenix Rise take on the Boston Iron at the Utah Valley Convention Center. Copyright Melissa Majchrzak

The Phoenix Rise entered the 2016 season with one thought on their mind…redemption. The Rise lost in the Finals last year to the DC Brawlers and have been looking to make up for it this year. Phoenix did just that during the regular season as the team went 3-0 and looked dominant throughout.

As the Rise entered the playoffs, they faced their rivals, the San Francisco Fire. After a nail-biting finish in the regular season, Phoenix dominated the playoff match winning the first 7 races. But the Rise had been to the Finals before and left with a bitter taste in their mouth. This year they wanted more.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 TOTAL
Boston 1
(1)
1
(2)
1
(3)
2
(5)
1
(6)
2
(8)
0
(8)
1
(9)
1
(10)
1
(11)
3
(14)
14
Phoenix 2
(2)
2
(4)
2
(6)
1
(7)
2
(9)
1
(10)
3
(13)
3
(16)
2
(18)
2
(20)
1
(21)
21

The Boston Iron, however, stood in the way of Phoenix and the Pinnacle Trophy. The Rise started strong with three commanding race wins to start off the match. Both the men and women on the Rise looked up to the challenge.

The Iron would fight their way back by winning the second piece of both the men’s and women’s echo races (4 and 6). This would bring the score to 10-8 heading into the Ladder featuring Ground-to-Overhead. Boston started strong on the Ladder leading in the total weight while Phoenix had a stronghold on the women’s total early on. Boston’s Quiana Welch missed a 180-pound snatch attempt. She then ran towards the finish line before turning around to attempt a clean and jerk on the 195-pound bar. Welch successfully lifted 195 pounds, but the precious seconds lost on top of snatching instead of clean and jerking the 180-pound bar would prove very costly.

Phoenix would end up winning the Race 7 total weight by just 45 pounds. The Rise also easily won the women’s weight to give them a 3-0 advantage on Race 7 and a five-point lead heading into the final four races. Phoenix wouldn’t stop there though. They won Race 8, 9 and 10 before losing the final Race 11. But by the final race, the Rise’s fate was settled. The Phoenix Rise were the 2016 NPGL champions.

Following the victory, Rise Head Coach Mike Lee commented, “It was a fantastic team effort. It’s something we pride ourselves on, no individual, it’s always a team, and tonight we showed it.” The Rise capped off the 2016 season with an impressive win and the Pinnacle Trophy.

 

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